Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Daz, Shaz & Kate

2010 I think it was. Or maybe 2011…either way, the memory has always lurked deep. Waking up to headlines of Portsmouth amputation rates. And it hurt. We had embarked on the Super Six diabetes model- trying something different…things like 3 different Trusts working together, specialists working inside GP surgeries. Its all the rage now, you know- but hey those days? Ah blasphemy…I still have saved some of the scorchingly negative emails from leaders of the diabetes world- how this model would spell the end of specialists- surprisingly little about patient benefit and all that.

Anyway, I digress- but hey- you know what- it hurt. A lot. The pointed remarks from other specialty colleagues as to why we should be the ones to do general medicine, no one else…the barbed comments about legless Pompey lads..ah the black humour of medicine, eh?

So we tried - and I am not going to bore you with all the details, the journey- but its the point where we are at which matters. Same newspaper- same people- but this time, with a far more positive headline- and today morning, I smiled. No, didn't smirk but smiled. It didn't hurt all those years ago regards who said what- I brush off non-constructive criticism pretty quickly (its a character flaw/trait which has served me well so far…) but what hurt was the fact that genuinely, we weren't doing local people much favour with what we were providing.

Enough will be written by someone and somewhere about what we achieved, what was set up but this blog isn't about that- but is more of a thank you to many of the unsung heroes who should take the kudos but never will-simply due to their quiet and polite nature. And there are many…whether it be local GP leads such as Paul Howden, Jim Hogan, Barbara Ruston, David Chilvers et al or commissioning managers such as Sarah Malcolm- there are indeed many who have helped along the way. No system, and I repeat, no system can improve without a cohort of folks working together -whatever be their title or grade. Have there been obstacles? Many- and I could spend much time on false promises, threats or even attempts at bargaining to get foot clinics in place- but tonight- I won't. Tonight is about the ones who did the good stuff- the folks who cut across divides and helped.

Folks -who have moved on- Mike Townsend, Graham Bowen - folks who have been part of the change, Diabetes UK in the form of Jill Steaton, local patient advocate (now theres a man with passion!) Raymond Hale…so many to name, so few words for a blog..but thank you to you all.Orthopaedic surgeons such as Billy Jowett, Irwin Lasrado-folks who have been fabulous- or vascular chaps such as Mark Pemberton, Simon Payne or Perbinder Grewal…who said surgeons and medics cant work together?

But a major kudos perhaps sits with the amazing twosome of Darryl Meeking, Consultant colleague & Sharon Steele., lead podiatrist. We like to call them "Daz & Shaz" but their grit and determination to see things to this point? Simply remarkable- turning the tide in such present environment is no mean task- and they indeed are individuals who will shy away from taking the credit…but on behalf of many many patients and staff- a big thank you to both.
Much more to do- and results need to get even better- but this is a journey which takes time, determination and a lot of patience. To anyone looking at foot data- have trust in your local team, back them, support them…and yes- give them time.

A final word to someone who left our department for greener pastures..Kate Marsden…one of our specialist nurse colleagues- who was instrumental in many changes to local foot care. Thank you for what you started, your energy, drive- we haven't forgotten what you did- and we all are grateful…and miss you too. Data is what it is- numbers are what they are…but to change something positively needs something and someone special

So…Daz, Shaz, Kate and many others- thank you. You all have been very special indeed x


  1. Lovely post Partha :)

    Teams are what it's all about - and making sure everyone feels valued within them.

    Please say 'Hi' to Mark Pemberton for me - we were in the same year as medical students at King's.

    Best wishes,

    Ian Paterson
    (Consultant Anaesthetist, Sheffield)

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